UPDATE July 16, 11:30 am. -- Introducing his vice presidential pick, Donald Trump described Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a "solid" and "honest" leader.
"What a difference between crooked Hillary Clinton and Mike Pence," Trump said at a news conference Saturday morning. He praised Pence's economic leadership of the state, his good looks and his "incredible family."
Trump chose Pence in part to promote "party unity," he acknowledged, but said he wanted to remain an outsider.
When he finally got a chance to speak, Gov. Pence thanked God, Donald Trump and his family for the honor of being the presumptive nominee's vice presidential pick. "I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order," he said.
"Donald Trump understands the frustrations and the hopes of the American people like no leader since Ronald Reagan," he said. "Donald Trump gets it."
The Indiana governor described himself as a small-town boy. "I grew up with a front-row seat to the American dream," he said.
Pence cited President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr as his heroes growing up, but said President Reagan had inspired him to go into politics.
He reiterated Trump's charge that President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton were responsible for America's weakness and for the current turmoil evident in Nice, France, and in Turkey.
Original story: The choice many have been waiting for has apparently been made. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will serve as the running mate to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to multiple reports.
Roll Call first reported the news that Pence was Trump's selection, and soon afterward Pence's local newspaper the Indianapolis Star reported that it had confirmed the choice. The New York Times reported the news as well. The Trump campaign has not officially confirmed that Pence is the choice — saying no decision has been made — and has indicated it would announce Trump's selection in a press conference Friday.
Pence, 57, would have to withdraw his re-election bid as Indiana governor to join the ticket. He was elected in 2012. Prior to his service as governor, he spent six terms representing Indiana in Congress.
Trump, a newcomer who has ruffled too many feathers to count, could rely on Pence's seasoned experience as a politician. Pence has a number of fans on the right on Capitol Hill and could be a candidate that will reassure establishment Republicans.
"He’s still beloved by many of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, where he transitioned from a Tea Party-style Republican insurgent to a leader in his party," wrote the Hill. "For Trump, that could be a benefit given his own so-so relationships on Capitol Hill."
Pence had recently come under fire from both sides of the aisle in his home state. After major businesses threatened boycotts, he revised a so-called religious freedom law after a national uproar from critics who said it was anti-LGBT. The episode left him hampered on the left and the right and his bid for re-election could be a tight race.
A Washington Post reporter pointed out on Twitter that Pence had criticized Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. That apparently did not disqualify the governor from consideration.
The Indiana governor would take the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket over Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Army Gen. Michael Flynn, who are all other rumored candidates for the job.
Pence remains a staunch social conservative and is a devout evangelical Christian.